endings and beginnings

Dear Annie,

The short season of Magnolia blossom is almost over. The flowers on our tree are getting increasingly sparse. We have had blue skies here for a whole week, and warm sunshine  to accompany them. I have even managed to find a few moments - on the odd occasion - for al fresco crafting, settling down with my knitting in the sunny spot beneath the tree to watch the children playing in the garden.

My hap blanket is almost finished now. It would have been completed quite some time ago had some mis-counting of stitches not forced me to unpick. Only a few repeats of the lace border remain.

Of course, as one project comes to an end, my eye is already on the next one. I am following one Ysolda pattern with another, this time from her new pattern collection, Saturday Treat. I bought it for myself as just that, a little treat, and it was a pleasing day when it arrived on the doormat.

The patterns all use Scrumptious, a yarn with a silky luminosity that appealed to me from the moment I first set eyes on it. I have elected to make the Barley Sugar cowl pictured on the cover, but I chose yarn in the Wine Gum colourway from Tangled Yarn.

 Just as there is new knitting on the horizon, so too is there new blossom getting ready to take centre stage. Our Cherry tree will soon be replacing the Magnolia with its display of springtime beauty. In nature as in knitting, an ending is always followed by a beginning.

Love from,



My Day Off

Dear Laura,

I had Monday off from work. Yipppeeeeee! Here is what I did:
Checked on the bees

 Ate Lunch
 Went for a stroll
 enjoyed the botanic gardens

Played at the Native American Museum

 Swooned at the blooms
Drank coffee at my favourite coffee shop
Fed the ducks

And finished the day off with a nice glass of pressco (and a face like a lobster, must remember to get suncream)
lots of love



sunday morning

Dear Annie,

{a little help with stirring}

 {BBC 6Music on the radio}

 {favourite drinks}

 {favourite mugs}

{stacks of fresh pancakes}

{first sock-free day this year)
{magnolia blossoms scenting the air, and the bluest of skies}

Love from, 



The Smoking Apron

Dear Laura,

One of my eBay purchases arrived yipppeeee! When I opened it a rather strong smoke odour flew up my nose and I dropped the fabric in shock. I am not sure yet how to get rid of this smell, I washed it four times today with soap and the water ran out yellow from the years of accumulated smoke in the fabric (bluurrrgggg!). I think this was part of a curtain in a smoking household. Nancy over at figs and roses told me that it might help to put it outside and let the fresh air take care of it. I am going to give that a go and hope for the best. But first...

I couldn't wait to use the fabric, I bought it because it made me think of my sister. I made her an apron a few years ago and I wasn't happy with the fabric I used. I wanted to use something much more like this. So when I saw it I thought perfect, I can rectify my mistake.

It is a little shorter than I would like but that is all the fabric I got and I think it just about works

This is my favourite photo as it basically sums me up in the kitchen, rather unsure what to do and hoping that someone with some sense will take over shortly.

Lots of love


p.s. I'll get the smoke smell out before I send it. I hope. Any other thoughts tips ideas are most certainly welcome.


plastic knitting needles

Dear Annie,

As you know, I have been collecting colourful plastic knitting needles since an ebay bargain last year. I'm afraid that I am drawn to them for purely aesthetic reasons- I find plastic too slippery to actually knit with. They have accumulated, a pair or two at a time, from a charity shop here, a junk shop or car boot sale there. I love the way that they add a splash of cheerful rainbow colour to my crafting space.

Rather marvellously, my Mothers Day present from the boys was  a brooch made from vintage knitting needles. Could it be more perfect?! It was hand-made by Rachel Tesselaar, who encases the needles in resin. So clever, and so pretty- look:

It came from Howkapow, which I urge you to go and take a look at. Not just because the owners, Cat and Rog, are Bristol-based and lovely (although that is true), not just because they have recently been featured in Mollie Makes (although that is true too), not even because they are very good friends of my brother's (although that is also true) ... but because they have all sorts of gorgeous things, including knitting needle brooches, and perhaps best of all, it appears that they are now on sale!

Love from,




Dear Laura,

I have discovered ebay, well to be more precise I have discovered my ebay addicts niche. It occured to me the other day, whilst pondering my next sewing project, that of all the places in the world where there will be the most random selection of vintage and new fabric, ebay most surely has the greatest selection. And so I found an addiction, extremely quickly I bought 2 different fabrics. Just like that, at the click of a button.

 (this will be a tea cup dress, just in time for summer. Fabric: Bermuda metro cafe Monaluna Kitchen Teacups, Robert Kaufman)

(this I think will be an apron but the fabric might be a little shinny)

Well that was easy but they were "buy it now", the bidding is a much more stressful occasion. But there it was, a fabric that caught my eye and my heart and there was already a bid on it. So I mustered all my courage and put a bid on it myself. Then I had to wait. Oh the pain. One day and 4 hours later I watched the clock tick down praying the original bidder would not come back and start a war I was bound  to loose (most likely financially). Luckily they didn't return and this wonderful fabric is now mine, all mine!

(Fabric: Liberty prints Lawn Pauly Parrot)

Now it has since occured to me that people might not be quite as keen as me to have a bidding war over 1/2 a meter of liberty second hand fabric. But I am still waiting on an auction and I am still nervous that someone is going to come and snap up my fabric from under my nose. I am not sure I can bare the loss.

Lots of love



Liberty notebook cover

Dear Annie,

For the last few years, my Mothers Day presents to my Mum have been handmade. This year I made her a notebook cover, using some fat quarters of Liberty quilting fabric that I bought from the Quilts exhibition at the V&A a couple of years ago. I followed this simple tutorial.

Love from,


Edited to add: I hope it's not too late to join in with Handmade Monday...


Happy Mother's Day

Dear Laura,

It's Mother's day this weekend, in England anyway, not here, here it is just spring. I love Mother's day cards,  I feel like I can let my inner child out for the day and play with glitter, fabric, crayons, wool, or whatever takes my fancy and make a card. This year I choose fabric scraps, wool scraps, Sellotape and paper. 

Do you like it? I am rather pleased with how it turned out. Unfortunately I only sent it today so it is going to be a rather late mothers day card. It seems Mother's day does not coincide with organised daughter week (sorry mum!).

I hope you have a wonderful Mother's day

Lots of love



sunny yellow

Dear Annie,

Spring must be approaching. Everywhere I look, I seem to be seeing sunny yellow.


... and inside ...

{The fabulous crochet cushion was made by Gill, over at Moss Stitch. I was lucky enough to win it in her giveaway. Perfect Spring cheer!}

I've even been craving yellow yarn, which is funny because it is pretty much the one colour I don't have in my stash. I've really got the urge to knit with some. Perhaps some Puffin in Carrie's Yellow? Mmmmm. Not that I'm obsessing about it or anything.

Love from,

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